Champa Goddess Temple

Friday - 16/10/2020 13:03
Located in the East Hamlet, An Hai, this temple is dedicated to the worship  of Po Ynu Nagar of the Champa people, which Vietnamese call Thien Y A Na, Ba Chua Ngoc, Ba Chua Tien, or Goddess. The architectural work not only embodies the harmony of beliefs of Viet-Cham people but also has unique artistic values.

The Goddess Temple is on a small volcanic rock mound surrounded by ancient trees that people in the area call the Dinh Forest. The 150-square-meter temple faces the sea to the southeast. Foam basalt—a volcanic rock available in the area—is elaborately arranged on the temple’s front.

Builders created the temple in a typical architectural style of the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century. Three large buildings make up the temple, including the front, the middle and the rear halls. Wooden doors decorated with carvings of  two dragons fighting over the pearl connect the three halls. The temple roof is braced by a system of columns. The tops of the columns have supports that resemble extended bat wings. The columns’ bases look similar to the Lingam-Yoni symbol, a typical decorative motif of the Champa people. They decorated the interior of the temple with many sophisticated wooden or stone-made artifacts, such as the horizontal lacquered boards and spirit tables carrying high aesthetic, cultural and architectural values.

A thatch roof once covered the temple, according to historical records. It was only in King Bao Dai's 9th year that villagers repaired and restored the temple. By King Bao Dai’s 19th year, the villagers had completed the renovation, bringing it to the form seen today.

Po Ynu Nagar worshipping played an important role in the life of the Cham community. When the Vietnamese people went to Ly Son Island and took over the worshiping facility, they began to hold an annual spring and autumn sacrifice to pray for the blessing of the people. Later, the Nguyen court honored Thien Y A Na as the superior god.

The Champa Goddess Temple was granted a provincial monument by Quang Ngai Province in 2006.
 
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